Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Manchester by the Sea is directed by Kenneth Lonergan, and it stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, and Lucas Hedges. When tragedy strikes his family in Manchester, MA, Lee Chandler must return home to try and figure out what they should do next. I don’t want to say much else other than that in fear of spoiling it. Regardless, this film is getting a lot of Oscar buzz, but is it deserved?
Manchester by the Sea is an absolutely fantastic film! This film is the type of film that you’d expect to see nominated for Best Picture and see discussed and praised come Oscar season. That’s not a knock on the film by any means, this movie deserves all of the praise that it’s getting. However, I don’t think this is a film for everybody.
The reason I don’t believe this is for everybody is because this is a very sad and depressing movie. It’s the type of movie that most people see once, then they purposefully never watch it again. It’s dramatic, it’s realistic, and it isn’t afraid to trust its audience to handle some pretty heavy things. There are moments in this film where you feel the hopelessness of the characters, and you honestly can’t help but appreciate what they are going through.
Though the film delves into some pretty gloomy things, it’s not just a two-hour sob-fest. While there isn’t really a character that is the “comedic relief” in this film, that responsibility goes to several different scenes throughout the film. These scenes feature the main characters joking around and being sarcastic with one another. Not only does it help lighten the mood, but it simultaneously develops the characters. Each and every character in this film was built up incredibly well throughout the film.
These characters are supported even more by the amazing performances in this film. Casey Affleck gives the performance of the year in this film! His performance isn’t one of the grand, emotional performances that often get loads of praise (deservedly so). Affleck in this film delivers a very subtle performance. He plays a very quiet character, that often doesn’t say what he wants to. He’s not a very conversational person. Yet, through his body language, Affleck was able to convey to the audience exactly what that character was thinking, in spite of what he was saying. I mean, even his eye movements in this film were extremely convincing and helped to build his character! That’s how good he was!
The rest of the cast did great jobs as well, particularly Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges. Both gave performances that deserve some award recognition. Every actor and actress in this film played off of each other extremely well, and their conversations never felt forced or unnatural or for the sake of forwarding the plot. Every performance in this film was extremely convincing in its own manner. The film is only elevated by the wonderful performances of the entire ensemble.
I also want to briefly touch on the music and the end of this film. The music was all over the place, yet, it always worked. Some scenes in this film are accompanied by a grand organ, some with a harmonica, some with simple classical music. The music worked extremely well in this film and it fit the scenes and tone fantastically.
Finally, the ending of the movie. The ending of the movie is the one thing that I’m struggling with. On one hand, it’s very artistic and it shows that life just goes on. It’s not full of big movie-like events played back to back. On the other hand, it just kind of ends. It doesn’t really have an emotional climax or anything, it almost feels like the movie just stopped playing and the credits rolled. I’m a bit mixed here, but otherwise, this movie was incredible!
Manchester by the Sea was absolutely one of the best films of the year. It most definitely deserves all of the praise that it is receiving. Casey Affleck gives the best performance of the year, and the rest of the cast was nothing to scoff at. The film was very sad and depressing, but it worked for the story that was told. It does have little bits of humor sprinkled in there as to not be too melancholy, and that helps this film a lot. I would highly recommend Manchester by the Sea, just plan on only watching it once, unless you’re a huge film fanatic.
So what did you think of Manchester by the Sea? Do you think it has a shot at winning Best Picture at the Acadamy Awards? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts! Thanks for stopping by!
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